- INTRODUCTORY PROFILE
1. Which of the following best describes you?
I own a car but use other forms of transport frequently.
2. How long have you been either car-free or used non-automotive transport as
your principle means of transportation?
3. What inspired your decision to reduce or end your reliance on the
Fuel costs, gas emissions, insane cost of maintenance
4. What factors have either impeded or inspired your decision to reduce your reliance on automotive transport?
Bicycle travel/walking/public transportation are simply more active ways to see
where you're going and where you've been. I get stressed if I have to drive in
traffic, on freeways, or in densely-populated areas. Plus, my auto insurance
company has questioned me for the past two years when I've insisted that I use
my car for less than 5,000 miles of travel per year. They actually investigated
my total mileage from home to work and back, and said that "it's not normal" to
ride a bike 16 miles per day. I have a feeling that the guy I was trying to
convince during the phone conversation was sitting with his feet up on his desk,
chomping on his fourth donut of the morning.
5. Has your transportational choices had any discernible effect on your family
It seems to have underscored their suspicion that I'm not satisfied with being
normal. I think they've been talking to my auto insurance agent.
6. What are the advantages and disadvantages of being car-free and/or getting
around without using a car?
Advantages: You can't be in a hurry when traveling by bike, so trips become more
efficient and purposeful.
It's also a magnificent way to take in the details along the route, no matter
the weather conditions. Slowing down my daily pace has probably been the most
positive aspect of being a bicycle commuter. I also feel more confident about
taking care of my bike than
I did about general maintenance for my car--a bike flat takes 10 minutes, but a
car flat (which I couldn't change myself) means calling
a tow truck, hoping the spare is good, waiting for service, $$$$, etc. Also
learned more about being a responsible cyclist through the research of becoming
a commuter. Riding the streets is much different than cruising the bike paths,
something that every cyclist needs to become aware of even if they're just
hopping on their bike to go to the store.
Disadvantages: Hateful actions/comments from drivers, but that doesn't happen
very often. And I have a theory that people who are that
aggressive l probably have many other targets as well, such as spouses, pets,
7. Do you typically feel comfortable recommending car-free living to your
friends and/or relatives? Why or why not?
I only recommend car-free living to people who ask about it, as they're most
likely to be open-minded. Most of the people I know are
quite comfortable with their current lifestyle, which includes heavy
dependability on a car, so I don't try to persuade them to
leave their safety zone. There are plenty of valid reasons why folks won't/can't
switch to bikes/walking even part-time, and I'm not a very good salesperson.
8. Have you experienced any adverse consequences of reducing or eliminating your
automotive dependency with regard to time and finances?
The only adverse consequence that comes to mind is the planning that goes into a
longer day trip. Not a bad thing, really, as it simply turns into a mini
9. Have there been any benefits?
Saved $$$ which has enabled me to put money toward bike traveling.
10. In an ideal world, what role should the car play in the general
The use of a car depends on several details, such as a where a person lives
(city, rural, suburbs), and the availability and convenience of public
11. Do you have any other personal or general thoughts you've care to share on
Keep riding your bike, even if the rest of the world thinks you're nuts for
doing so. They really wish they were in your saddle.
12. Where do you live (city, state, country)?
Torrance, CA, USA
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